When God Initiates Negative Emotions in our Lives
Last week, I discussed the necessity to break free of our strong emotions. Now, Let’s discuss the how. There is a process I go through to dig out the root of the negative emotion. First, I make sure that I’m right with the Lord. Whatever else I try to do won’t last unless the change comes from Him. Second, I vanquish the demonic influence behind them. Last, I admit that my physical body is flawed, and choose to take my thoughts captive anyway. Since our victory cannot be found apart from Jesus, we first need to come to Him.
You see, sometimes God uses negative emotions to get our attention or as a form of discipline. This by no means discredits the goodness of God. In fact, it is because He cares for us that He does so. He says in Revelation 3:19, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.” This is how God set up his covenant of old. In Deuteronomy chapter 28 God gives the Israelites a list of blessings that they experience when they obey His commands and a list of curses for when they don’t. It is seen through Israel and Judah’s history that when they obey God, He brings about incomprehensible victories, but when they don’t, they are defeated. The problem was never the enemy, but a broken relationship with God.
As Creator, God established the laws of this world and set up the boundaries around a relationship with Him. But there is good news! “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9). If we’re to have any chance of conquering these negative emotions, we need to humble ourselves before Christ and ask Him to first forgive us. If this is new to you, consider praying this prayer– aloud.
Jesus, I choose today that you are my King. That means, I no longer live for myself. I choose your ways because they are good. I am fallen and sinful. Please show me where I have stepped outside of your boundaries. (Take a moment to be silent and listen to the Holy Spirit.) My Jesus, I give that sin up. I proclaim that you paid the price for it. Help me not fall into that temptation again. I’m ready to start living anew for you. Please give me wisdom as I go forward to do so well. Thank you for your grace, my God, and my King. You are worthy to receive all glory, honor, and praise. Amen.
I learned this lesson about nine years ago now. The year before my husband and I married, we slowly crossed line after line on standards of purity until we finally slept together. The fancy name for this sin is fornication. Because of my actions, God disciplined me with depression and anxiety. These were so strong that in trying to stave off a panic attack, I overdosed on medication. If that wasn’t enough to catch my attention, the next day, I rolled my car across the interstate while trying to contact my fiancé to quiet the voice of my anxiety.
Up to that point, counseling wasn’t working, medication wasn’t working, and my prayers seemed to be hitting a brick wall. After those two incidents, I decided to switch counselors. After listening to me for a bit, she declared, “Well Amber, of course you’re depressed and anxious. Your actions are going against your beliefs. Instead of trying to change your true beliefs,” (Which my previous counselor had suggested) “We need to change your actions.” When I truly repented and worked to change my behavior, God moved and I was saved from those emotions.
Dear reader, I don’t know where you are in life. But I know that these strong emotions like depression and anxiety can try to grab you at any time. I pray for strength and wisdom for you. If you are struggling, even if it is just a random off day. Reach out and tell the Lord. “The Lord is near to all who call on him; to all who call on His name.” (Psalm 145:18). And He, not I, promises that He will help you.
“Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”
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